Lero researchers to head €3.8m EU retail sector initiative

Lero researchers to head €3.8m EU retail sector initiative

Lero researchers at Dublin City University are to lead a €3.8 million EU programme to help high street and online retailers counter the competitive threat posed by online giants like Amazon and eBay.

PERFORM (Pioneering the Digital Future for Omnichannel Retail Managers) will train and manage a team of 15 PhD researchers across five countries in digital technologies such as Internet of Things, Big Data, advanced analytics as well as augmented reality, novel payment systems and visualisation concepts to help create a unique European customer experiences.

“The retail sector is one of the pillars of the European economy and accounts for about 15% of employment and 11% of GDP,” said Lero researcher Dr Markus Helfert who is heading the programme.

“However, many European retailers are concerned that both high street and online are losing out due to the power of the Amazons and others of this world.

“Established business models need to be revised as customer behaviour is changing. Consumers no longer prefer online or instore purchasing but switch between channels to suit their personal requirements. Therefore, it is vital to assist European retailers in the digital transformation and the blurring of online and instore behaviour that is occurring.”

“One of the sad implications of Brexit is that academic peers in the UK are missing out in participating in exciting European research programmes like this that are being awarded now.

Dr Hugh Doyle, funding manager, Lero, said: “The PERFORM project is an example of the successes that may be achieved by researchers in Irish universities through participation in the SFI Research Centres’ programme.

“Dr. Helfert has leveraged the support and opportunities provided by Lero to build a world class project consortium of leading European researchers.”

Lero researchers to head €3.8m EU retail sector initiative